The suffering and pain are more intense when a doctor tells you that days before Eid he got infected with COVID-19 along with 11 family members, including his parents, seven brothers and sisters, his wife, and his daughter.
It did not occur to the mind of urologist Dr. Fouad Khdeir, who works in one of the hospitals in the Jazan area that he will catch the virus and become one of the daily numbers of COVID-19 cases announced by the Ministry of Health, forcing him to stop taking his daily early morning runs to the hospital where he works to follow up on his patients on the wards and in the clinic.
Dr. Khdeir told Asharq Al-Awsat how he caught the virus which started when his father had caught it a few months ago.
“There were several procedures in place to stop the spread of the virus, but because we were in the same multistory house my mother caught the virus, and before Eid my sister, who works as a doctor in one of the hospitals in Riyadh, visited us in Jazan to spend Eid with the family, not knowing she had the virus until she had symptoms.”
Khdeir continues: “We were still under full quarantine in Jazan so the family were all together which made me think it was unlikely for me to catch the virus from my sister despite it being confirmed that I did catch the virus from her, knowing that the first person to show any symptoms was my father so I expected to have caught the virus from him since we were close.”
“With time the virus started to spread through the family like wildfire, in days three of my sisters also caught the virus, followed by three of my brothers. We started behaving very cautiously and taking all of the necessary precautionary measures to halt the spread of the virus to the rest of the family until my wife caught it. The most painful part was when my daughter, not even nine-years-old yet, first showed symptoms, including losing her sense of taste and smell,” he added.
On quarantine, Khdeir said that according to the protocol for healthcare workers, the quarantine should continue for 14 days, after which they undergo a second test that needs to come back negative.
"All this time I was eagerly waiting for the negative results so that I can go back to work and play my role to care for patients”.
On being nominated for Hajj, Dr. Khdeir said: “I applied and was then told that I was nominated. After seven days, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah contacted me and told me the mechanism and protocol that need to be followed, including quarantining before going to Makkah. Before that, I had done the two necessary tests which were my third and fourth, and took the necessary vaccines for Hajj”.
, “A date was set for me to travel to Jeddah where we finished the program which included institutional quarantine. Throughout my stay there and while in Mashaar Mona, we were provided with all of the services and healthcare from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ government”.